Your business is built on your well-executed, great ideas. Fortunately, terrific ideas come at us from all directions: we’re inspired by opportunities we see, different perspectives we encounter, and new discoveries we make every day. There are so many things we can do—if only we had the time to really examine the potential of each possibility. So many ideas crowd our over-stimulated minds; it becomes difficult to focus and do the things necessary to grow and improve.

Our job as business people is to effectively implement great ideas. Our challenge is making those ideas actually produce positive results. Great ideas are worthless unless we can capitalize on their potential. Don’t let the fruits of your fertile business mind wither and die on the vine.

First a humbling tidbit of wisdom: We can’t do it alone! Even if you’re a one person operation, you need help to get things done. Our drive and passion for what we do makes it tempting to go it alone, but there is only so much we can do. We all manage competing demands and priorities; time constraints often keep us from pursuing even the best ideas. We need to leverage the resources around us. Tapping into the collective brain power of a group while spreading the work across many hands is the practical approach to launching any new initiative. To get it done, to make it happen, we must become excellent collaborators.

As business people we’re required to become experts at creating an environment that nurtures creativity, supports communication, and fosters collaboration. Effective collaboration means sharing a common purpose, distributing knowledge and information, continuous learning, effective use of resources, and producing results.

Experience has taught me that there are three key elements necessary to effective collaboration: Alignment, Authority, and Accountability. Stay tuned—I’ll share the specific meanings of these elements relative to collaboration in a series of upcoming posts to The Studio. So, how has collaboration impacted you? Your creativity? Your business?